Fife Council steps out of ‘non personal’ care

ELDERLY people who receive home help services for non personal care such as cleaning laundry and bed making have been told by Fife Council that they will no longer receive the service from next month.

The plan to stop non personal care was among cuts Labour claim were sneaked through at the time of February’s budget — and will save the Council £894,000.

Around 1800 people across Fife use the service.

Fife Council said alternative providers had been found for the services and that it had consulted with Fife Elderly Forum, who were happy with the arrangements.

But the move was condemned by Fife Labour leader Alex Rowley as “the wrong choice.”

He said: “The SNP and Lib Dems tried to hide this cut at the time of the budget and we forced them to publish it.

‘‘Ever since we have had difficulty trying to establish how they were implementing it and what kind of support they would provide to replace it”.

“Removing a service from pensioners who need it and handing them a booklet as a replacement is simply not acceptable.

‘‘What we are seeing is a fundamental shift away from public service delivery to a laissez faire approach of help yourself if you can with SNP and Liberal councillors hiding behind paid officials imposing the changess.”

Heads in shame

Cllr Rowley accused the SNP and Lib Dems in Fife of privatising council services “out of existence.’

He added: “They are systematically destroying services that were built up over decades for our elderly — it is disgraceful.

‘‘They should hang their heads in shame”.

Louise Bell, social work service manager for Fife Council emphasised the changes to housework services would only apply to those service users in receipt of a domestic only service, and anyone receiving care as part of a personal care package will continue to receive the service.

She added: “Any change to a service which people and their families have relied on for many years can be daunting, however, just because the Council will no longer deliver the service, does not mean we stop caring.

‘‘The welfare of our clients is paramount and if service users have as any concerns we will arrange to meet and discuss their needs.

“Due to the personal and very individual nature of what we are doing, change will be phased and we are continuing to work closely with the Fife Elderly Forum to ensure vulnerable people continue to be supported.

“With regard to the domestic service transition, I emphasise that we will continue to contact, monitor and get feedback from service users and that no service will cease until an alternative is in place.”